This is the second in a series of three articles addressing employee management.

I don’t believe that there is any ONE secret to business success. There are a multitude of important factors, systems, and decisions that ultimately determine the success or failure of a business.

That said, it is exceptionally hard to create a successful business without creating cohesive and highly effective teams.

Not simply effective employees, but effective teams. A strong team is much more than the sum of its parts. But they don’t just appear out of thin air… so below are steps to get you started:

  1. Create teams out of individuals that complement one another. You maximize the value of a team by combining individuals with varying strengths. Think about football for a moment – your hometown team doesn’t employ 50 guys that can throw the ball well. They employ 2 or 3 of those guys, and they surround them with other players of varying skill sets. This is an obvious concept when we relate it to sports, but you would be amazed at how many business owners hire the same type of employee, over and over and over.

  2. Build a sense of camaraderie. The biggest hurdle to get over when it comes to team building is getting your employees to prioritize the team over their individual desires. The only way to do this is to judge (and ultimately reward) individuals based on their contribution to the team, and by the success of the team. Sure, this doesn’t always seem fair. Employees may complain about being punished for the failure of others in their team and they may be rewarded for the hard work of others in the team. But, at the end of the day, if you want to build effective teams, you need to evaluate individuals based on the success or failure of their team.

  3. Assign responsibility. A common downfall of teams in the workplace is that they can often be a way for individuals to avoid accountability. To counteract this tendency, it is important to assign specific roles and responsibilities to individuals within a team. As we discussed in point two, it’s important to evaluate team performance, but it’s also critical that each employee be held accountable for their performance. Assign clear roles and responsibilities, and you won’t have to worry about your team slacking off.

Strong teams will help you take your business to the next level. Do your employees function as a cohesive unit?